The first of December each year is designated World AIDS Day since 1988. Since then HIV/AIDS has yet to be brought under control and is decimating the population of under-developed countries.
HIV/AIDS is not just Africa’s problem. HIV infection rates are on the rise in Asia. Only recently have infection rates stabilised in Western and Central Europe.
Between 2002 and 2004 in Western and Central Europe:
- 29% of the people newly diagnosed with HIV were less than 30 years of age
- 58% of new HIV cases were infected through heterosexual sex, 40% through gay sex and 11% through sharing equipment for injecting drugs
- 91% of women with HIV were infected through heterosexual sex
- Women account for 59% of all reported heterosexual cases
- 48% of men overall were infected through gay sex
- Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa account for 26% of all new cases diagnosed and 47% of those infected through heterosexual contact.
In Ireland alone 100 people died of AIDS related illnesses in 2003 (Source: CIA World Fact book).
This years work Campaign being run by the World AIDS Campaign which took over the organising of the day from the UNAIDS programme is ‘Keep the Promise’
Closer to home the Terrence Higgins Trust, a leading campaigner on AIDS issues in the UK and Europe, campaign this year is ‘Wise Up, Wear it. Where’s yours?’
World AIDS day ribbons will be sold on UCC campus this year. Please support this campaign by buying a ribbon and wearing it.